Follow-up group work



The exercises below are suggested follow-up assignments which can be done individually or in groups.

1. Words are powerful weapons.
Journalists should reflect on when to use or not use words that may be perceived as controversial in some contexts. In 1999, NRK, the Norwegian license-funded broadcaster, decided to draw up a ‘black list’ of Yes words (words that should be used), Sometimes words and No words (not to be used) in their journalistic reporting. The creation of the ‘black list’ was pioneering work and the list is updated and still used today.

The students are to make the ‘black list’ for their own country with ‘Yes’, ‘No’, ‘Sometimes’-categories of words (20 min.). Afterwards the groups will present their findings in a plenary session. A good way to do this is that one person from each group writes one word on the blackboard, then this continues by alternating between the groups until the list is complete.

2. The others in history and today.
Divide the participants into four groups. The task for the groups is to identity minority groups that have been discriminated against in history or are being discriminated against today. The groups shall list the minority groups on a big sheet of paper and reflect upon the different forms for discrimination. Has (or is) the discrimination been “authorized” by state authorities or not? Each group will work with one of these minority groups:
   1. Minority groups that have been discriminated against internationally in history
   2. Minority groups that have been discriminated against in your own country in history
   3. Minority groups that are discriminated against today internationally
   4. Minority groups that are discriminated against today in your own country

The groups will present their work in the plenary. A good tip is to let the groups that have worked with discrimination in history present their work first and end with today's discrimination. The presentations will show that discrimination that took place in history, to a greater extent was authorized by state authorities. Today most countries have ratified human rights treaties that prohibit discrimination. A question for discussion after the presentations, can be what state authorities can do to prevent discrimination. Do the students know about good examples?   

3. Research/write a story based on the CERD reports.
The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) is the body of independent experts that monitors implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination by its State Parties. 

4. Actions and policies to deal with the ´multicultural challenge´. 
Choose a suitable case, a newsroom or media institution, in your own or another relevant country to describe actions taken and policies made to deal with the ‘multicultural challenge’. What are the actions/policies/tools? What are the aims?

5. Journalists as activists.
The students (in groups or individually) find examples of journalists, in their country or internationally, who have contributed to a better situation regarding human rights.

Gunn Bjørnsen, Head of Department, Faculty of Education and International Studies, Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences (Norway)

An online manual on intercultural understanding, ethics and human rights to be used by teachers and students in journalism education. Read more.

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